What is the source of my voltage leak?

Asked by May 31, 2016 at 12:48 AM about the 2000 Chevrolet Cavalier Base Coupe

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

Hello, recently my battery has been dying on me (twice in the last month). I
had the battery and alternator checked out and both are fine. I was told it's
probably some accessory or switch acting up. So I check each fuse to see
if I could find any significant source of current while the car was off. I've
found two fuses (well three but that was because the door was open); the
instrument panel cluster and the power ACC/stoplamp circuits...fuse. I
found both to be necessary to maintain a running car. Both fuses are active
when the car has no ignition key in it; running about 180 mA when I
connect the multi meter, evening out around 80-70 mA a few moments
later. I'm not sure if this is normal, any ideas?

Also I tested the ACC with the door closed.

2 Answers

25,155

Keep in mind when testing for a parasitic drain on the battery, that the one or more modules will remain active ("awake") for at least ten minutes from the last time the door was open, this will cause a false high reading. To accurately test you need to either wait ten minutes after closing/opening the door before putting the meter on the batt OR pull the door fuse so that circuit is no longer keeping the computer in an active state. 180mA is too high for a vehicle overnight, but that may be normal shortly after you open/close the door. It can take up to an hour for some modules to go to sleep. see this link here for a better explanation: http://www.aa1car.com/library/battery_runs_down.htm.

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

alright so I did a proper test, leaving the multi meter on the ACC fuse for about 40-50 mins, and it would seem that it's drawing a normal 12 mA current when at rest. Nothing else seems to draw any current. There doesn't seem to be any loose connections...I don't understand where this power is going. For the time being, I've disconnected my radio...maybe those 12 mA are my problem somehow.

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